Learn about nature in a fun way
Getting children involved in nature in the early years is the best way for them to learn about it. Finding a fun way of teaching them is another thing altogether!
Going for walks and taking pictures, looking things up on the internet when you get back (or on the go if you are lucky enough to have mobile internet) and finding out about the species you have found. Going into a park or your own garden and turning over stones, looking up close at the bark on trees, finding a water course and looking around the edges (be very careful everyone is safe), looking in long grass and under fallen logs.
These are all places to find insects and bugs, spiders, worms, voles, mice, snakes, dragon flies, frogs toads and lots more. A great way of engaging children is to take a hoola hoop or something similar, that they can throw in front of you in the grass then get up really close to look at what you have 'caught' in the area. Take a piece of white card or plastic, something to place the findings on to observe, take a magnifying glass if you have one. If you are not too sure about handling insects and things like that you could use a catcha bug
. See how many different types of insects you can find and identify. Let the children take a photo on a phone and look it up to identify it, find out what it eats and see if you can find evidence of it's last meal.
If you want to bring the nature to you, then you could employ the use of an insect observation structure, take a look at our insect category
to see more. The mini bug
series is a fun way of getting children involved, they can read about how to use it and help put it in the right location, then check on it from time to time. If you are really keen, you might use a wildlife camera
to capture what is happening at night time or when you are not there. The children will enjoy watching their own garden on the television.
It doesn't have to cost much, but if you make the effort then your children will reap the benefit in later life. Appreciating nature is a wonderful pastime, it calms and educates - and it's free!
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You don't have to touch![/caption]